Thursday, October 25, 2012

over, under, around and through...

it's a tap dance with
no rhythm.
it's a waltz
counting 3-2-1.
no square dance has
four corners.
the tango isn't
done with one.
the two-step is
out of step.
the last dance
will always be
ashes, ashes
we all fall down.
trying doesn't
feel like doing.
even the leaves
don't make sense.
when they dance 
down the street
it sounds like rain.

Monday, October 01, 2012

30 days hath September...

This one felt like 112.

the oncologist is ixnay on another port. Too risky
for another infection. It's looking like the last chemo
treatment will be mid-November.

We met with the surgeon (same one that did the biopsies
back in March). She has Carol scheduled for an MRI
about two weeks after the last chemo treatment. It will help
her determine how much cancer is left and where. We'll
have another consultation with her in early December and
she'll let us know how extensive the surgery will be and when.

There was another consultation with a plastic surgeon last week.
He will attend the surgeon to do the skin grafts.
Basically, Carol will be getting a total mastectomy plus. 
The surgeon will be removing tissue from just below the collar
bone, several inches beneath the breast, a couple inches into
the center of the chest, under the arm (to include lymph glands)
and part way around to her back. We're not talking one incision
to close with stitches. Thus the skin grafts at the time of surgery.

We also met with the radiologist. He said radiation will be
started about four weeks after surgery/when enough healing has
taken place so as not to add to the risk of complications.
He wants to do radiation twice a day, five days a week for five or
six weeks. The oncologist is in favor of that schedule, too.
Although, the radiologist said he would reduce the treatments to
once a day if Carol decides twice is too difficult. But, that would
extend the radiation to at least seven weeks. He also mentioned
that extra care and special procedures will have to be used
in order to avoid radiation involving her heart.

Reconstructive surgery (to build another breast by using muscle
from either her abdomen or her back) is available to her.
That can't happen for at least six months after radiation to allow
for total healing and more testing to make sure the cancer is
gone. Carol said that she'd be just fine with a prosthetic to plop
into the left side of her bra. I applaud that thought.